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Canadians' well-being down as economy grows: study

25 october 2012, 12:47
0
©AFP
©AFP
Quality of life for Canadians has dropped significantly since the last recession in 2008, even though indicators show a rebound in the economy, AFP citing a study published Tuesday.

Canadians' well-being, according to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing composite report, dropped by 24 percent between 2008 and 2010 and the decline continues despite an economic recovery.

"The findings uncover some troubling truths about the connection between our well-being and the economy," said the report's authors, Roy Romanow, former premier of Saskatchewan province, and former federal health minister Monique Begin.

"Despite years of prosperity, our economic growth has not translated into similarly significant gains in our overall quality of life. Even more concerning is the considerable backslide Canadians have experienced since 2008."

The report used data primarily from Statistics Canada to track 64 headline indicators within eight interconnected quality of life categories central to the lives of Canadians: community vitality, democratic engagement, education, environment, health, leisure and culture, living standards, and time use.

"When we ask our friends, 'How are you doing?' we certainly do not expect the answer, 'My economic outputs are up,'" Romanow and Begin explained. "We want to know if our friends are doing well, if they are healthy, how their families are doing, if they have jobs that cover the bills, if they have seen a good movie recently, or have been out with friends."

"Similarly, when we ask how the country is doing, we want to know how Canadians are faring, not just whether the country's economic productivity is up or down."

The index shows that, in the seventeen year period from 1994 to 2010, Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a robust 28.9 percent while Canadians' quality of life only improved by a very modest 5.7 percent.

The environment segment deteriorated the most since 1994, followed by health, leisure and culture, and living standards, while education and community vitality spiked.

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